Holiday Sugar Cookies
Updated: Dec 15, 2020
December 6 2020
For years, I have been using the same holiday sugar cookie recipe. It's so delicious and with a hint of nutmeg, it is the perfect recipe for the autumn & winter holiday season.
The dough come together easily and after relaxing in the fridge for a few hours, it rolls out beautifully.
The round cookies were a play on a doughnut but much easier! With a large round cookie cutter and a thicker dough, the cookie takes on a doughnut-like look. Cut out the hole with a smaller cutter and you have a cookie doughnut! I then dipped them in the two colors as a foundation, let them harden, and then poured some of the opposite color on the top and decorated them. No piping bags and no fuss!
Holiday Sugar Cookies
Makes: 24-36 cookies depending on size
Active Time: 45 minutes Bake Time: 11 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes (incl 3 hours fridge)
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Decorations (sprinkles, non-pariels, dragees)
Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg over; stir to blend well. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead gently 1 minute. Shape dough into 1/2-inch-thick rectangle. Cut into 4 equal pieces; wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 3 hours and up to 1 day. Let dough soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or Sil-pat silicone mats. Working with 1 dough piece at a time, roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 3/8-inch thickness, lifting and turning dough often and dusting surface very lightly with flour to prevent sticking. Using floured 3- to 4-inch cutters, cut out cookies. Pull away excess dough from around cookies. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart (cookies will not spread). If using cookies as hanging ornaments, push 1 end of drinking straw through dough near top of each cookie; lift straw, then remove small dough round from straw. Gently re-roll dough scraps; cut out more cookies. Transfer to same sheet.
Bake cookies for 5 minutes, then exchange pan on top rack for bottom pan, rotating from front to back at the same time. Bake another 6 minutes until lightly browned. Let cool 5 minutes on sheet.
Transfer cookies to rack; cool. Repeat with remaining dough pieces, baking 1 sheet of cookies at a time. Cool baking sheet completely between batches.
Make Royal Icing per directions in recipe.
Add food gel coloring as desired. Pipe a border of royal icing and let sit for 15 minutes. Fill in the border and if adding sprinkles, do so now. If marbling, add the royal icing at this point in other colors and run the tip of a toothpick through the colors to create a pattern of your liking. If adding a contrasting design, wait one hour for the base to harden completely and then add your contrasting royal icing.
For Holiday Ring Cookies, roll the dough to 1/2-inch thick. Use a 3-inch round cookie cutter and cut circles from dough. Then, using a 1-inch round cookie cutter, cut a hole in the middle of the 3-inch circle. Bake as directed above. When frosting, use one color of royal icing for the bottom layer and let harden completely (about 1 hour). Then pour the second color over, using a spoon or small offset spatula to spread the second color to drip slightly off. Do not cover the first color completely. Add decorations at this point.
If needed, review the Royal Icing Tutorial.